Tales of the City #3

The scene is Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow at 8 pm on a Sunday evening. I am making my way to see a film about the impossibility of love between two men, one from Nablus (a city of some significance to the Samaritans, interestingly enough given this morning’s Gospel reading) and one from Tel Aviv. I’m in a hurry.

Interlocutor: Ahem!

Me: er, …

Interlocutor: Ahem, excuse me please Sir. Could you help me?

Me: er, I don’t know, what is it?

Interlocutor: Could you tell me the way to the nearest striptease bar establishment?

Me: No, I’m afraid I don’t think I can. I have to admit, I don’t know.

Interlocutor: Oh, I’m sorry for disturbing you. But please, …

Me: Yes?

Interlocutor: Who then could I ask?

Me: I’m sorry, I don’t know.

He wanders off and I hurry to the GFT.

Now, I ask you, do I look like a person who knows where the nearest strip joint is? Do I even look like someone who knows to whom this question should be directed?

I know I used to live above just such an establishement whilst I was pretending to be a residential student in the TISEC flat and pretending to learn something from studying at New College. But that was a long time ago.

And that was Edinburgh.


  1. Well done, good and faithful servant.
    This was obviously a set up by some national tabloid who are sending out journalists to enquire of the clergy of the Anglican Communion if they know where the nearest lap dancing club is. If you had answered yes you would have been part of a forthcoming expose of the immoral underbelly of episcopalianism and your photo would have been splashed all over the front pages. Tempting, I know but in the long run I think you will find that you did the right thing old chap.

  2. Was your dress (not actually a dress, but the clothing you were wearing) such that it would invite such a comment?

  3. It’s the glasses, Kelvin.

  4. I’d have understood it if I’d been wearing a dog collar, but I wasn’t. Honest.

  5. Elizabeth says

    I’m with Kimberly on this one.

  6. kelvin says

    What!? My glasses (as featured in Italian Vanity Fair) have turned me into someone suspected of knowing where the nearest strip club is?

    How did that happen.

    Who on earth thought that was the look I was going for?

  7. What?

    Wearing a dog collar would make you more likely to know were a strip club is?

  8. Kelvin, you know full well what those glasses were about.

    The remarkable thing was that your interlocutor was perceptive enough to ask you where to find a strip tease rather than a cat house.

  9. Is cat house an Americanism in this context? My interlocutor was not American.

    I wasn’t even wearing the red glasses.

  10. Yes, it is an Americanism.

    I wouldn’t possibly know the British equivalent. I have the glasses to prove it.

  11. The person next to me at the cinema removed his shoes and waggled his toes at me.

    Does that count?

  12. The funny thing is that there is The Cat House in Glasgow, a club and gig venue.

  13. Where does waggling toes rate on the “twinkle” scale?

  14. kelvin says

    I’m delighted to report that I now have the answer to the original question. That it was communicated to me in church, by a reader of this blog, will perhaps surprise no-one.

  15. Andrew says

    1) But what of the film and its plot line?

    2) As to your quandary: They should’ve been asking a past Primus, the Rt Rvd You-know-who who wrote about his visit to an Edinburgh lap-dancing club in The Scotsman or Scotland on Sunday a scant few years back. Remember that?!

    3) See No 1 above…

  16. kelvin says

    Oh, the film was very good. It was in Hebrew. (You have to work hard for your artistic pleasures sometimes). This made me realise that I wish that I had been better at Hebrew than I was. I used to enjoy the classes, but was pretty poor at remembering it all.

    The film was a kind of gay holyland version of the Capulets and Montagues but with weapons. Middle-Eastern Romeo & Romeo with bombs.

    Devastating, but highly recommended. (It was called The Bubble)

    With regards to lapdancing clubs, as I indicated above, had it been Edinburgh, I would have known just the place, without any help from a Primus. I seem to remember that he reported at the time that he was not turned on by the experience. I think I can say that it is unlikely that I would be either.

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